Dining at Disney: Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

Big Thunder Ranch by 2 Miss Mouses

We’ve probably passed the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue hundreds of times, but it wasn’t till this last October trip that we finally tried Disneyland’s only “All-you-care-to-enjoy” restaurant. So often we stick to our tried and true favorites (Plaza Inn or Rancho del Zocalo), but on this trip we really wanted to try some new experiences (check out our first visit to Mickey’s Halloween Party) and what can we say? We’re mighty glad we did.

Big Thunder Barbecue Halloween Roundup by 2 Miss Mouses

Not only was the space completely decked out for Halloween, but Big Thunder Ranch is also set in one of the quieter corners of the park, so guests get the chance to relax and dine family-style in the great out of doors. As we mentioned before, Big Thunder is an “all-you-care-to-enjoy” restaurant, which is a slightly less gluttonous way of saying “all-you-can-eat.” We came here for lunch, but dinner is also offered. The only difference (aside from cost) is that dinner also includes corn on the cob and smoked sausages. Once we were seated, we were greeted by our “ranch hand” Caleb who took our drinks order (drinks are included in the set meal price per person). P.S. We loved the mason jars!

Big Thunder Iced Tea by 2 Miss Mouses

The lunch meal victuals consist of barbecue chicken, ribs, ranch beans, corn bread, and cole slaw. The deal is that you can ask for more of whatever you want…hello, dream come true.

Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue by 2 Miss Mouses

We definitely asked for more corn bread…seriously, it was so delicious….we just couldn’t reign ourselves in…

Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue by 2 Miss Mouses

From start to finish, the meal was finger lickin’ good.

Big Thunder Dinner by 2 Miss Mouses

There’s also a beautiful stage at the front of the ranch and we were treated to great live music throughout our meal.

Big Thunder Ranch Stage by 2 Miss Mouses

One of the best things about Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue is the service. From start to finish, the ranch hands were a delight. One of our favorites was Art. When he saw how much we were loving the food, he made sure to bring us a pamphlet with all the recipes (except for the corn bread…dagnabbit!)

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Recipes by 2 Miss Mouses

Oh, and did we mention the insanely decadent and delightful desserts? Even though dessert costs extra, we decided to splurge once we heard about the seasonal dessert: a snickerdoodle skillet cookie complete with 3 scoops of pumpkin ice cream and a side of caramel sauce! Yee-haw!

Big Thunder BBQ Dessert by 2 Miss Mouses

We definitely recommend a trip to the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, especially if you or your fellow cowboys have large appetites and a taste for some serious victuals 🙂 If you’re planning a trip to the park, remember that you can make reservations up to 60 days before your visit. Just call (714) 781-DINE (3463)


  1. To honor the loss of the best food in Disneyland, our family plans on having a Thunder Ranch BBQ dinner for Christmas. I have found all the official recipes except for the beans. Does the pamphlet have this recipe? Thank you.

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